Today I am overwhelmed. I want to write. I need to write. But somehow, over the past week, I have managed to get so far behind on my assignments that I feel buried. Today…I don’t want to write.
We all have times like these. Writing seems like an easy task to the outside world but what they don’t know, those non-writers, is that we are our own worst enemy. We fight with deadlines…sure…but we also fight ourselves constantly. I have two sets of deadlines…I have the ones set by the clients and I have the internal ones that I hold myself to. I have to do this because so much runs through my mind at any given time. My brain is populated by stories, lists, characters and the need to procrastinate.
So what do you do when you’re overwhelmed as I am right now? My motto is, “one dragon at a time”. Yes I don’t want to do any of it because I feel like it is a tsunami of work that I want to run from, but I know it all has to get done so I choose one thing and I work on that one thing. I work on that one thing until it is done and then I go about slaying the next dragon.
As a writer, the work will always be there no matter what kind of writing you do. If you are serious about writing and you freelance as well it can get crowded and thus overwhelming. The key is pace. You have to pace the work and yourself. Followed by pace comes persistence. Persistence is handy when the weather is good outside and you would rather be out soaking up the sun which can be sort of elusive here in the Pacific Northwest. Persistence is what keeps your butt in the chair so that the bills get paid.
Finally, persistence is followed by caring for the writer in you. Understand that the work will get done but don’t allow it to at the expense of your sanity. Take it on one dragon at a time and allow yourself to relish the victories as they happen. This morning I did 25 pages and then took a break to sit in the sun for a half hour, then, I went back to work. These small allowances will ensure that you don’t feel like a prisoner trapped by the work. So don’t get overwhelmed and pace yourself…it will get done.
Remember…one dragon at a time.
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